Leadership Tussle
Knocks as Governor Ikpeazu seals church over power tussle

The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has come under criticisms over the shutting down of the headquarters church of Apostolic Christian Church Mission Aba.

This is following the protest by some clergymen of the church who claim that Ikpeazu was interested in seeing that a kinsman to his political allies emerge as the Bishop of the church.

You may recall that, the church is having a leadership tussle between two apostles namely: Rev Apostle John U Esinna and Apostle P C Erondu.

The protesters had in a statement said, "There is a tiny minority of the church elders mostly politicians who incidentally are relatives of the Governor of Abia state Okezie Ikpeazu who wants to foist an unpopular Bishop over the church due to the death of the former Bishop.

“Also two other senior Apostles who were next in line; the financial secretary of the church who is not a career missionary of the church rose up and is receiving the support of the governor’s kinsmen and political allies; led by Chief Theo Nkire, who was one time Attorney general of Abia state and Elder Godwin Nna, who was one-time commissioner and local government chairman; whereas the next in line is a career missionary by name Rev Apostle John U Esinna; the financial secretary’s name is Apostle P C Erondu.

“The matter is even before the court of Appeal Owerri and rather than the Theo Nkire ‘s group to be patient and law-abiding and await the verdict of the Court of Appeal they have resorted to all means possible to arm-twist the church and their latest move was to get the Governor to shut down the church headquarters to put fear into the members who are against his kinsmen."

Commenting on this, a legal practitioner, Amarachi Owhoeli who appeared on ATN Society Watch, described the governor's step in shutting down the church as being unnecessary. He stated that the governor should have allowed the matter in court to be decided upon instead of shutting the church.

According to him, "the governor's intervention is unnecessary at this point in time. Ofcourse, the governor has a duty to ensure peace in the society, but, the governor does not have that right to intervene in trivial issues. If he uses the energy he is using to wade into this matter to repair the roads in Aba, we won't be having this discuss.

"You see a trivial issue like believers trying to replace a leadership position, there has been no report of people fighting or killing themselves (sic). The governor only has the right to intervene when there is a breach of peace, but, where there is no breach of peace, people are quarrelling, the matter is already at the court of appeal. If a matter is at the court of appeal, it means that the parties would stay any action till that matter is decided. 

But, where the matter is in court, people have not started killing themselves, there's nothing of the sort, they still have their services going on and the governor is coming in to close down the church, I don't know what is his interest", he added.

Barr. Amarachi however suggested that the way to go about it is to drag the governor to court.

He said, "Now, they have one matter at the court of appeal, this one that the governor has closed the church, they will have a second matter at the high court before going to the court of appeal. Ofcourse, he has to open the church, so the only way to make him open the church is to challenge him in court" (sic).

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